Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker is set to make a tough decision in the 2019 NBA free agency. As of now, his heart is torn between creating something special in Charlotte and his desire to contend for the NBA championship title. With their current financial situation and lack of interesting trade assets, the Hornets are unlikely to turn into a legitimate title contender anytime soon.
After suffering another disappointing season, multiple signs are pointing out that Kemba Walker will be leaving Charlotte in the 2019 NBA offseason and in that case, the best scenario for the Hornets is to find a team who’s willing to engage in a sign-and-trade deal involving the All-Star point guard. Recently, Rick Bonnell of The State hosted a Q&A for fans about Walker and the Hornets.
One fan asked if the Philadelphia 76ers should consider a sign-and-trade deal that will send Kemba Walker to the City of Brotherly Love in exchange for former No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons if they fail to reach the NBA Finals in the 2018-19 NBA season. Though the idea of acquiring Walker would be intriguing, Bonnell believes the deal is “impractical” for the Sixers, money-wise.
“No, because it’s impractical for the Sixers to trade Simmons, still playing on a relatively cheap rookie-scale contract, for Walker, about to make more — maybe lots more — than $25 million a season. The Sixers have acquired lots of big-name veterans and are sorting through how to pay them. Another player on a big contract isn’t really an option for them, as far as cap management.”
Will Wednesday night be the last time Kemba Walker pulls on a Charlotte Hornets uniform? Thoughts in @theobserver on Kemba's 8-year run, as the Hornets try to finish a playoff push and stave off the huge free agency question looming for their best player:https://t.co/wIeT0b3ji7— Scott Fowler (@scott_fowler) April 9, 2019
Though there is only a minimal chance for the Kemba Walker for Ben Simmons trade to push through, it is still interesting to see how it could affect both the Sixers and the Hornets. In exchange for Walker, the Hornets will have a new centerpiece for the title-contending team that they are planning to build. Simmons still has some flaws in his game, but he has the qualities of the player who can become the face of a franchise. Simmons has shown lots of superstar potentials since his rookie year and is frequently compared to Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.
Meanwhile, the deal will help the Sixers become a more competitive team in the 2019-20 NBA season, especially if they succeed to re-sign both Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler in free agency. Kemba Walker will give the Sixers an All-Star caliber point guard who can knock down shots from beyond the arc, unlike Ben Simmons.